R.I.P. Camp Cowboy

North shore of Lake Carl Blackwell lies a camp that bubbles excitement inside of me. Camp Cowboy.

It’s a weekend for incoming freshman filled with tradition, bonding and ORANGE POWER. Small group time gives campers a chance to interact with current students (counselors) and teachers. They learn about housing, classes, life on campus and things every freshman should learn before stepping foot on campus for their first day. Campers also climb a ropes course, slip-n-slide during water olympics and become a true cowboy while getting a visit from Pistol Pete at the late night campfire. I was a camper myself, and I have counseled every summer since then. My favorite part is always the musical chair version of Never Have I Ever and the strobe light dance at the lodge. My emotional attachment to this place can’t be described on paper.

Being a camper taught me the importance of building relationships and investing myself into something bigger than me. I met some of my best friends at camp, and my transition into college was much easier with the useful information I learned (like not carrying my schedule around on the first day or taking the big steps into Morrill hall). Knowing that I had more than three friends was a plus. Now as a counselor, I try to create the same experience for my campers.

This past weekend was my last at Camp Cowboy. Part of me wanted to cry the entire time, but the other part wanted to remember every small detail (like the curiosity of the campers and the enjoyment I get when they ask questions that I remember wondering at their age). It’s a blessing to be passing on the OSU tradition, but this past week it was bittersweet. Their OSU experience is just beginning and mine is coming to an end.

Here is a picture of me, my co-counselor Clay and our campers!

Camp Cowboy, you will be missed.

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